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Invasive Alien Species Spotted at Silent Valley!

21 May 2009 12:19

Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) has confirmed reports that alien species have been spotted at Silent Valley Mountain Park in Co Down.

The name of this invasive species is Rhododendron Ponticum, which doesn’t come in peace as it threatens native ecosystems and protected habitats in and around Silent Valley. Ahead of World Biodiversity Day on Friday 22nd May, NI Water is raising awareness of this particular ‘alien species’ and the damage it causes to the area it invades.

Proof that looks can be deceiving; the Rhododendron Ponticum is a distinctive attractive flower, yet it is responsible for the destruction of many native habitats and the abandonment of land. The plant out-competes most native plants and in many cases, it will grow to such a height that it blocks light to native plants, and can eventually eliminate them. This in turn, affects animals who relay on native plants for food.

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